22:11 GMT +325 October 2016
    Military exercises Union Shield 2015

    Pentagon Seeks to Deploy Mobile Artillery Near South China Sea

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    With tensions escalating in the South China Sea, the US Army is discussing the possibility of sending mobile artillery units to the region.

    Over the weekend, US President Barack Obama stated that his administration would continue to challenge Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    "We think China is resorting to the old style of might makes right, as opposed to working through international law and international norms to establish claims and to resolve disputes," Obama said in an interview with Channel News Asia.

    The US and its Pacific allies have accused China of building artificial islands on top of sensitive marine habitats to establish an air defense zone in the highly contested waterway. China maintains it has every right to build within what it considers to be its own territory, and has stated that the islands will be used primarily for humanitarian purposes.

    Beijing has accused Washington of stirring unrest in the region, and new information of additional behind-the-scenes machinations have come to light.

    According to a senior US Army official, speaking to Scout Warrior on condition of anonymity, the US may soon deploy mobile artillery, the kind  traditionally used in land-based offensives, to the South China Sea, as defensive units.

    "We could use existing Howitzers and that type of munition to knock out incoming threats when people try to hit us from the air at long ranges using rockets and cruise missiles," the official said.

    Woody Island, a island in the South China Sea occupied by China and claimed by several other countries, is shown in satellite images taken on February 14, 2016 and February 3, 2016, in this handout image provided by ImageSat International N.V. 2016, on February 18, 2016
    © REUTERS/ ImageSat International N.V. 2016

    Such a plan would require the cooperation of regional allies, who would have to approve the placement of the guns.

    "A Howitzer can go where it has to go. It is a way of changing an offensive weapon and using it in dual capacity," the anonymous military official said. "This opens the door to opportunities and options we have not had before with mobile defensive platforms and offensive capabilities."

    If approved, Washington’s weapon deployment would continue a pattern of US aggression in the South China Sea. Washington has conducted a number of joint military exercises with regional allies as a show of force against China. Over the past few months, the Pentagon has also begun conducting "freedom of navigation" exercises near Beijing’s artificial islands.

    But if mobile offensive units are seen as an effective, cheaper alternative to shooting down missiles or aircraft, they could also be used beyond the Pacific. Military officials suggest that M777 Howitzers and M109 Paladins could also be used in Eastern Europe, to counter Russian "aggression."

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    howitzer, mobile artillery, US Army, Pentagon, Barack Obama, China, South China Sea, United States
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    • cmat.wolfgang
      Putting up proxies to avoid direct confrontation.
      If something goes wrong, you may blame others.
    • allperils
      LOL using howitzers...vs precision missiles.

      "...might makes right". Sorta reminds me of someone people....
    • surferket
      US is having wet dreams. Artillery do not knock down planes and missiles.
    • jasin reply tosurferket(Show commentHide comment)
      surferket, That's what I was thinking. When the so-called experts of the US speak, they seem like spoiled bullies who never had a real fight.
    • siberianhusky
      What is the big from the Americans, they have been doing this for years with or without approval of the locals. I hope that they have more then a few sleepless nights over this.

      Love to see them pick a real fight with the Chinese and they the Pentagoons and Zionton will loose it like all the other ones before with exception of their BIG win invading Granada
    • Arius Armenian
      The multifarious East is coalescing.
      The days of the East bending its knee to the West are over.
      The US can rant and rave to the heavens but it will make no difference.
      For the East defeat is not an option.
    • affordable.guy
      What a charade! We come in piece, spreading democracy, humanitarian cause; yada yada yada. We won the war? Ha! The Nazis control the White House!
    • Because sand bars matter?
    • armor
      In the 50's & 60's, there was a theory going around of a certain " Paper Tiger".....
      I remember distinctly listening to the radio on short-wave and heard that expression many times.
    • Beady-eyed Insomniac
      Just where have the US residents been marching in the streets protesting against China and their reclaimed chunks of tiny land?

      Where are the petitions from the affected peoples pleading for the US to get involved in their ......? NOWHERE! Just how is this packaged and sold to the spoonfed US citizens? Unbelievable.
    • ivanwa88
      Most of this misguided rhetoric coming from the Whitehouse is designed to give the new president when elected a strong position rather than a weak one to carry on the unrelenting foreign policy of US.
      What isn't being calculated is the immense pressure Washington has been leveraging for some time now which is pushing nations to push back in anger!
      Although the perfect timing for US in election year is to push the envelope, its the most imperfect time to continue its policies.
      Obama has pushed the envelope beyond all acceptance and is now pushing other nations hands down onto the red button!
    • dna1991
      In modern history, world disorders can be largely attributed to the greedy anglo americans.
    • cast235
      Again , China isolates itself. A response for asking dialogue? What international laws? IF U.S and allies stop bombing sovereign countries and obey international laws, maybe China would be listening.

      Russia would get the Paladin's and turn them into "CHOP SUEY".
    • tony pin reply tosurferket(Show commentHide comment)
      surferket, Exactly, and what is their range?
    • Mikhas
      This containment policy is sooooooooooooooo 80´s and so are the US Ziocon f*rts still stuck in that century

      Obviously, neither Russia, nor China feels intimidated MILITARILY as they have the means to strike the US nevertheless and, in Russia´s case, wipe out the entire US in less than 30 minutes should the US fascist regime make good on their threats. It wont stop China from developing either, so what is it good for? Absolutely nothing.
    • v76
      Chinese aggression? Russian Aggression.... the only aggressor I see is murika.

      America has been at war 222 out of the last 239 years... since 1776
    • rgrag1245in reply tosurferket(Show commentHide comment)
      surferket, especialy when the missels
    • tobi.gelandoin reply toMikhas (Show commentHide comment)
      Mikhas, You are right Mikhas !!! The USA leaders are still using there politic from the 1970 / 1990 there have learn noting at all !!! and there brains move backwards. Poor USA ...
    • vendor
      One laughable LOL to the thought of mobility!
    • coolerheadsin reply tosurferket(Show commentHide comment)

      Politics and legality aside, the technical discussion is another matter. Modern U.S. artillery is nothing at all like the Howitzers you're picturing from WWII, where some guy hand cranks a lever to raise the barrel up and down.

      The M777 is an all digital platform, using advanced shells with semi-maneuvering projectiles with a range of up to 40km. Targeting data is fed in real time via long-range radar and infrared imaging. The computer adjusts for wind, curvature of the earth, projected trajectory of the target, etc. to aim the round exactly where it needs to go. The round is also capable of limited maneuvering in flight via embedded fins and can receive targeting updates via radio transmittal. They have been tested effectively against both aircraft and ballistic missiles at close range. The artillery rounds are a fraction of the cost of comparable missiles.
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